Mark Barron looks forward to debut
The Bucs expected a lot out of rookie S Mark Barron when they drafted him seventh overall this year, penciling him into a starting spot.
But with a toe injury keeping Barron out of last week's preseason opener against the Dolphins, they haven't been able to fully see what the former Alabama standout can do.
That will change Friday night, when Barron is expected to make his NFL debut against the Titans at Raymond James Stadium.
"I'm very excited," Barron said Wednesday. "I was looking forward to last week, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to play. Those same feelings are carrying into this game. I'm ready to get out there and get a feel for the game."
Barron, whose specific injury wasn't disclosed by the Bucs, doesn't know how many snaps he'll get Friday but said the toe won't limit him. He said though he has missed time, he has been able to grasp the defensive scheme. "At this point, I pretty much know everything," Barron said. "It's a thing where you've just got to focus in on every play and make sure you're doing your assignment."
Barron said with the limited contact rules in camp, which ended Wednesday, it was hard for a safety to stand out. And coach Greg Schiano said he is looking forward to evaluating him in a game setting.
"It's hard to say what kind of camp he's having because he hasn't participated enough to really draw a conclusion," Schiano said. "Mentally, I think he's grasping the defense. But how do you know until you're under pressure and have to perform? It's one thing to master the defense in the air-conditioning, and it's another to do it when you've got your pads on and you've got to hit somebody.
"I think we'll see that more as he plays more. I'm confident he will (do well). But like anything else, until you do it, it's talk."